Who is Jesse Rishani was the question I was recently asked by my colleagues at private home Care, Inc. Is she the tenacious young girl full of life; who loved exploring the world around her or is it the woman who is raising three beautiful children and working hard every day?
I believe it’s a combination of the two. My childhood shaped me into the woman I am today. A tenacious woman who embraces the beauty of each day and the wonder of the world around us. When I was 18 years young I declared my independence; spread my wings and jumped on board a cruise ship to work and explore. I have traveled to wonderful faraway lands like Japan, the Caribbean and all of the United States! With all the beautiful architecture, food, and history each place had to offer. I was able to explore not only my surroundings but my soul. Learning from each place how the different cultures live; the way the people grow up in different places, each of these memories are held close to my heart every day.
One beautiful day in Charlette South Carolina I found myself walking the pier and gazing out at the ocean taking in the sweet salty air, I closed my eyes and took in the rays of sun that beamed down on my fiery red hair. Suddenly the sun turned to darkness and with a startle I opened my eyes. A young man was standing there; with a mischievous smile he said, “you’re in the wrong spot, the tourist like the sandy beach over there” as he pointed to a beach full of people sunbathing. I smiled back explaining that I was working the cruise ship and only had a few hours off so I didn’t want to go far; I just wanted to relax and enjoy the water. With that mischievous smile he spoke again, “Well then, that’s different! If you only have a few hours, you should check out the cove it's where the locals go…. it's special”. I was young and foolish thinking I could handle anything the world threw at me, after all I had so far! So, I asked the gentlemen to take me to the cove. Soon I was in a small motor boat headed to the cove, with a complete stranger, thankfully I wasn’t alone my good male friend that I worked with went as well. Once we reached the cove the gentlemen took of his shirt and said this is the best part! As he jumped in. I remember being very impressed with his back flip off the boat knowing I would surely hurt myself if I had tried it, but despite my reservations I kicked my shoes off and jumped in.
The sea water was cool and refreshing until something large bumped my leg. The look on my face must have said it all because the young gentleman laughed and said “I’m guessing you just felt why the locals love this cove” with a nervous smile I quickly asked, “why?”. He laughed again and pulled me up into the boat, what he said next amazed me with wonder. “The rocks on the bottom are smooth and rounded from the crashing of the waves over a great deal of time. The dolphins love to come and rub their bellies on the stones, they also love the attention they get from time to time.” I looked over the small boat… he was right! In front of me were 5 wild dolphins playing and swimming with glee. Once more he smiled at me mysteriously and said, “Are you brave enough to swim with them?” Once back in the water I swam around feeling the beautiful creatures rub against my legs, with a deep breathe I dove under and watched them play and swirl as if they were doing a dance just for us. I will never forget that magical moment, despite the magic I still found myself longing for home.
In the end the only place I wanted to be was right here in Maine; the hundreds of places I explored over a 2 year period on the cruise ship was an amazing, life-changing experience. Each place holds a special beauty all its own, yet not a single place compared to my home right here in Maine. I grew up with the change of the season each one bringing new life with a new adventure and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. So when asked the question who is Jesse Rishani, I have to say I am a Mainer. true blue born and raised with heavy snow, colorful changing leaves, perfect for jumping mud puddles, and sweet summer heat. My life changes each and every day like the change of the seasons and each and every day I’m able to find beauty, hope and something new I love in the air, helping me to shape who I am and who I’m growing into more each day.
Jesse & Ellen at 2017 Growth Award